September 22nd, 2005

pce

Getting started with RTAI/Fusion

The RTAI Project has succeeded in developing a true hard real-time environment for Linux. An old LG article I had written explains some of the concepts involved. The project has grown at a rapid pace; an interesting development has been the growth of Fusion, the `next-generation' RTAI. Fusion provides tighter integration with the non real-time Linux environment; it also exposes a handful of primitives using which we can implement the API of any Real Time Operating System. Once such a `skin' for say a propreitary RTOS (like VxWorks) becomes available, it is quite easy to `port' applications over to Linux (the VxWorks skin is already available - though I am not sure how well it has been tested).

I have been playing around with Fusion for the past few days, partly with the objective of getting a few students interested in it. The core developer of the project, Philippe Gerum is a dynamic fellow and had responded to one or two bug reports I had sent to the mailing list promptly - I send in the bug report and I get back a patch in half an hour - that's what you would call `rapid development'!

Here is a small document I have written to help you get started with Fusion:

Getting Started with Fusion